Banner image

Gastric bypass surgery (Roux-en-Y)

Gastric bypass surgery (Roux-en-Y) makes your stomach smaller, limiting your ability to absorb calories.

This surgery cuts down the amount of food and liquid you can hold at one time. Your stomach will hold about 1 to 2 tablespoons of food at the beginning. As you fill the stomach, your brain receives a signal that you feel “satisfied” and should stop eating.

If you have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 or a BMI greater than 35 and a serious weight-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnea, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery may be a weight loss surgery option for you.

Learn more

What to expect from gastric bypass surgery

  • You can expect that it will take at least three to six months to prepare for surgery.
  • The care team will talk with you to help you determine the operation that is best to meet your goals.
  • You will get a lot of education and information before surgery to make sure you feel prepared and ready for surgery.
  • You will have several clinic visits before surgery.
  • During your hospital stay, you will receive care from specially trained staff members.
  • You will have a private hospital room during your hospital stay.
  • You will be encouraged to follow up with us at least once a year, every year after surgery.

What happens after the surgery

After gastric bypass surgery, you will stay in the hospital for one night. Before returning home, you will receive instructions from your care team to remind you about the education you received in the clinic before surgery. The doctor or medical provider will give you information for pain management and other medications you will take when you get home.

We will work with you and your insurance company to understand what services and care are covered.

Conditions gastric bypass surgery treats

Weight loss not only makes you feel better, move better and improve your energy, many other health problems get better:

  • type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • sleep apnea
  • arthritis
  • heart disease
  • high cholesterol
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • infertility
  • headaches
  • back and joint pain

How gastric bypass surgery is performed

Your surgeon will reduce the size of your stomach with this surgery. Your stomach will be stapled and then divided, making two different sections: the new stomach and the bypassed stomach.

Part of your small intestine will be separated and attached to the stomach so your food will go right into the small intestine after it goes through the stomach. You will absorb fewer calories because of this.

Related links

Source: Deborah Vanderhall, RN, program manager, Allina Health Weight Management
Reviewed by: Charles Svendsen, MD, MBA, program medical director, Allina Health Weight Management

First published: 12/13/2017
Last reviewed: 12/11/2017